At this point, it is unknown whether the incident was carried out by a copy cat wannabe, or that the guy was just nuts, but as of this writing a New Jersey man is sitting in a New York jail for walking into St. Patrick’s Cathedral with a couple gallons of gasoline.
According to ABC News, the 37-year-old man from New Jersey allegedly parked his vehicle in front of Saks Fifth Avenue where he carried two gas cans and lighter fluid into the cathedral.
“Church ushers stopped the man and nearby officers with the NYPD Critical Response Command took him into custody,” reports ABC. “No one was injured. The man is, for the moment, being considered an emotionally disturbed person.”
No criminal charges have been brought against the man, who will now be taken in for a psychiatric evaluation.
According to NBC News, NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller told reporters that gasoline had spilled on the floor of the cathedral when security confronted the 37-year-old man, leading him to make the wild claim he had run out of gas.
“As he enters the cathedral, he is confronted by a cathedral security officer who asked him where he’s going, informs him he can’t proceed into the cathedral carrying these things,” Miller said. “At that point some gasoline apparently had spilled out onto the floor.”
“His basic story was that he was cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue, that his car had run out of gas,” Miller continued. “We took a look at the vehicle, it was not out of gas and at that point he was taken into custody and brought to the Midtown North station house.”
Curious coincidence that this happens two days after the roof of Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral burned.
Around the globe security at churches has been stepped up in the wake of the fire on Monday. That a potential attempt to burn a second cathedral occurred may have nefarious implications.